Bliss ARG Vertical LD Day Top back protector review£120.00

Comfortable back protection with added thirst quenching powers

BikeRadar score3.5/5

As well as keeping your back protected, this vest houses two small, soft flasks in stash pockets on the hips to help quench your thirst.

First things first, the soft mesh construction is extremely comfortable, the off-centre zip stays out of the way and doesn’t irritate, and the flexible Armourgel panel at the rear goes almost unnoticed. The snug fit means we never had any issues with the back protector shifting around, and it’s thin enough that you can wear a pack over the top.

While we like the idea of combining protection with hydration, the execution doesn’t quite cut it here. Though the soft hip flasks stay put when climbing or cruising on more sedate trails, as soon as you start moving about the bike they quickly eject from the vest, especially when fairly full.

Emptying them a little and really shoving them into the pockets does help a bit, but they were still spat out when we hit a short undulating section at speed. Thankfully the tight hem on our jacket caught them, but if we’d just been wearing a jersey we’d have lost both flasks early into the first ride.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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